What is traumatic brain injury (TBI)?

Traumatic brain injury (TBI), also known as a head injury, closed head injury, or concussion, is an acquired injury to the head caused by an outside physical force. The brain can be injured when a trauma forces the head forward or sideways violently. The force of the trauma can cause the brain to slam into the skull which can cause internal tears and bleeding. The brain is a soft, jelly-like structure that weighs about 3 pounds. The brain is made up of 180 billion cells; 1/3rd are used to process information. There are countless connections between these cells. These connections, and the ability to process information, can be impaired or destroyed when brain cells are killed. Brain cells can be destroyed when a trauma tears brain tissue, when oxygen is unable to get to the brain, or when blood is allowed to accumulate on the brain. TBIs can be classified based on the severity, mechanism or other features.

Each year more than 200,000 people are hospitalized with brain injury and survive. Approximately 22% of brain injuries result in death. Falls are the leading cause of brain injury for people 65 years and older. Transportation-related injuries are the leading cause of traumatic brain injury for people aged 5-64. Around 5.3 million Americans currently live with disabilities resulting from brain injury.

The leading cause of Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBIs) in the United States are violence, vehicle collisions, construction accidents, falls, and sports. Damages can be reduced in vehicle collisions with the use of seat belts, child safety seats, helmets (in the case of collision involving a motorcycle or bicycle), roll bars and airbags.

If you or a loved one as suffered from a TBI, it is important to seek the proper medical treatment as soon as possible. The sooner the injured party receives treatment, the more effective it may be and it can lead to a quicker recovery.

Chris Davis
Top-rated, award-winning, attorney practicing wrongful death & serious injury law in Seattle.